Wednesday, May 23, 2012

False Alarm...

Have you ever had to eat your own words? I remember always spazzing at Josh when he would offer advice about other people's children before we had any. "Don't say anything! You'll curse us and our kids will be awful!" Luckily, our kiddo is a pretty good egg, albeit a challenging one at times.

Well, I'm not exactly eating my words, so much as personal thoughts, I suppose, since I never really talked about this out loud. I am referring to false labor. When I was pregnant with Ezra, I remember hoping I wouldn't end up at the hospital before it was time, but seriously doubting I would since my main goal was to remain at home as long as possible before heading there. The fear of calling people before it was truly time was definitely real, considering our families were 4 hours away (this was when we were living outside Nashville).

I didn't have a full-on false labor scare when pregnant the first time, but I did end up feeling guilty when my mom and dad came up for the weekend expecting a baby and he didn't come until Tuesday. I had been contracting throughout the day on both Wednesday and Thursday and I guess my mom was determined not to miss a thing so they went ahead and came on Friday. Of course, I went from almost constant to no contractions (at least not many at all compared to what I had been doing). We still made the most of it, visiting and going to malls to walk, walk, walk. My dad ended up going home Sunday morning and my mom decided to stay until the next day since we had an appointment with our midwife. At the appointment, it was discovered that at some point the OBGYN I had been using had changed my due date without telling me (this was actually the second time they'd changed it without telling me), so according to their records, I was now 8 days past due.

Now, I am very much anti-induction, and they had to schedule me for one on Saturday, just in case I didn't have him by then, so we decided to strip my membranes. Basically, this is a simple procedure (uncomfortable, but not too bad) which releases those lovely prostaglandins that help stimulate labor naturally. From the research I'd done on the subject, most women had said that if they weren't due yet, it didn't work, but if they were overdue, it tended to work. Apparently this theory worked for us too. After our stress test (which indicated Ezra was going wonderfully and just enjoying his surroundings), we scheduled the induction date in case it were needed and then the midwife stripped my membranes. I think this was around noon. I contracted that day, but I wasn't going to believe anything was for real since I'd done the same thing for two days with no results, although along with these contractions were some cramps in my lower stomach. Long story short, Ezra was born at 10:34 am the next morning.

Well, right before bed Monday night, my back started hurting. It was across my whole back, so I didn't think it seemed quite as labor-like as it should, but it wouldn't un-tense, which made me wonder. Josh was kind enough to rub my back and it simply wouldn't relax. I remember being very restless that night and drifting in and out of sleep only to notice that my back was still tense. I started to panic, thinking, I can't be in labor yet, I have to go to school today! It was awards day, and I fully believed I was going to make it through the last two days of school and was also hoping that Ellie would follow in her brother's footsteps (that seems like an awkward phase to say about a newborn, but I can't think of a better one--let me know if you do, ha) and hang around extra days or at least until her due date so I could have several days to make sure I had time to relax and prepare fully for her arrival.

I made it through the day Monday, but got more and more uncomfortable as the day went on. I texted Josh at lunch to tell him to come to the school when he got off work to load up my stuff from my classroom just in case. The later it got in the day and the more I did in my room (no heavy lifting, just making sure everything was taken off the walls, etc. and putting a few of my things on a table so it would be easy to grab all of my things quickly, as well as working on my paperwork for the end of the year).

Now, it's really hard for me to tell when I'm in labor at first (sounds strange, I know, but it is NOT like in the movies, trust me). I had been waiting to see my plug or have some other definite sign but now I was hurting pretty badly. I took a warm bath once we got home and Josh met the midwife in Brookland since she would be there for a bit that afternoon and he got the birth tub from her so we could go ahead and get it set up, just in case. I'm the only patient she has right now who is due, so this is still at our house.

Josh's mom just kept Ezra since he'd been with her all day. My parents came over soon after we got home and it seemed like things were progressing for a while. Josh's parents came by with Ezra because I was just missing him terribly and thought it might help me to see him. Josh and I finally laid down to sleep for a while a bit after 11. Around 12:45 I woke up and thought, I'm not hurting anymore, but as I began to wake up, I began to feel the pain again, and my belly hurt really badly--but it was hurting up top (not laborish by definition). I told Josh I needed him to call Tressia (our midwife) to see what was going on. I had avoided this because I knew it didn't seem right and I didn't want to bother her unnecessarily, but now I needed someone to tell me I was in labor or I wasn't. When she checked me I was only at two centimeters, but she felt Ellie and watched me for a while and said it seemed like I was having some good pains. Ellie was (and still is) in a strange position and she said that might be keeping me from making much progress and that it was probably going to be a while.

Josh and I went back to bed eventually and slept a couple hours, but we kept waking up and it wasn't very comfortable. About 4 am, I woke up and thought, I feel a lot better--crud, I've bothered everyone for nothing! Tressia asked me how I was doing and said she thought that my pains were being caused by overdoing it and that I would need to take it super easy today and declared "No last day of school," in a rather definitive tone. By this time, I knew that there was no way I was going to school. I'd known that the night before. Thankfully, the staff at school was extremely understanding and helpful and I knew everything would be fine--if I could just get past the guilty feelings I kept having for not making it all the way to the last day.

Josh went ahead and stayed home today, partly because he was exhausted and partly because I didn't want to be alone. We have done a lot of nothing, but we both needed it, particularly me. Ezra stayed with Nana at his cousins' house as usual and we watched some TV, took Tylenol, and tried to nap some. My back just stopped hurting about 20 minutes ago and now I'm hoping we will get some rest before Ellie shows up, like I'd originally hoped.

I'm still not feeling 100 percent. I feel like you do after you have been sick and in bed all day--still tired and ready to just feel better.

My little man just got home a bit ago and has been pretty sweet. He even brought me my bottled water and made me drink some. :) He also told me my belly was pretty. He knows how to steal a lady's heart for sure. We are going to tidy up the living room--which also has that 'we've been sick/in bed all day' look and make some supper soon. I'll be sure to let the world know (aka update my Facebook status) of any changes, but right now, I'm just hoping for some relaxation and complete lack of back pain. Oh, and for Ellie to get into a less 'wonky' position. That's not too much to ask, right?

Thank you to everyone who has been thinking of us and praying for us. I'm sure that's what has helped me to get the bits of rest and helped my back to finally feel somewhat better.

Maybe the next post, we'll have Eliana here, who knows?

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